In Inaugural Policy Impact Series Webinar, HR Policy Members Examine Potential Immigration Reform

September 18, 2020

HR Policy’s Future Workplace Policy Council featured member perspectives on the significant changes to immigration policy likely ahead in kicking off our webinar series exploring the November elections’ impact on public policy areas most pressing for CHROs.

In kicking off the call, Council Chair Johnna Torsone of Pitney Bowes said, “Although this is an area that has seen a lot of vitriol over the years, we may now be looking at election results that open the door for positive changes and opportunities to work together.” 

The November elections are only seven weeks away, and several immigration issues with significant implications for employers hang in the balance.  Panelists included Barba Leen, U.S. Immigration Attorney for Microsoft Corporation;, Rachel Goldin, Senior Vice President, HR, Bank of America; Bill Latimer, Senior Vice President, Public Policy Executive, Bank of America; and Elizabeth Brettschneider, Partner at Daryanani Law Group PC.  Led by Director of Research and Publications, Daniel Chasen, the call explored the future for: 

  • Nonimmigrant work visas:  Several changes to H-1B visas for highly skilled workers and L-1 visas for intracompany transfers are on the horizon.  These include regulatory changes that set new wage requirements, redefine “specialty occupation,” and reconfigure “employee-employer relationships” for H-1B visas that may appear this month as interim final rules.  Also on the radar are potential legislative opportunities to increase the number of high-tech visas available—and several further restrictions and requirements accomplished through legislation, many of them centered around pay. 
    • “In addition to seeing a rule on H-1B visas for high-skilled workers in the next month or so,” said Barbara Leen, U.S. Immigration Attorney for Microsoft Corporation, “depending upon the election outcome, we could see a lot of movement within federal agencies to change policies within the next year.”

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA):  Having already passed the House, the American Dream and Promise Act could potentially become law in 2021 enshrining the DACA program into law, especially if the November elections go the Democrats’ way. 

  • Immigration reform: The elimination of per-country quotas for employment-based visas and several other items may help with dramatic backlog issues companies have been experiencing, even before the pandemic.  

You can find the presentation here

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